Elevation: 6,035 ft
GPS: 38.876, -104.881 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 34,144 total · 146/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details


Montezuma Tower is the obvious skinny tower in the middle of Garden of the Gods. The North Ridge is one of the best moderate routes in Colorado, and it has some old aid routes Harvey Carter did as practice for the Fisher Towers. This is a pretty wild tower to have so close to a city.

Getting There

Park in the main parking lot and Garden of the Gods, and walk between the Gateway Rocks past the Twin Spires. Montezuma Tower is the obvious skinny tower next to the smaller Three Graces.

White Chalk is not allowed!

The Park staff want to remind the climbing community that white chalk (calcium carbonate) is prohibited in the park due to visual impact. While any chalk use is discourage, chalk substitute that does not discolor the rock may be used. Eco balls are sold at the Visitor Center.

When placing closure signange/notifications, our park rangers noted chalk stains on several routes in the closure area (Anaconda and Grapefruit Dance), as well as the Blowouts bouldering area (which were cleaned last year, meaning all the chalk here is new). We are again hoping that the community can come together and address this issue before it requires any action on our part. Access may come into play! We'd also like to thank the PPCA for their efforts to remove chalk stains in these areas last year and hope that local climbers might consider helping them remove chalk stains from the rock this season- check their website for more info on upcoming events- pikespeakclimbersalliance.o….

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Classic Climbing Routes at Montezuma Tower

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
North Ridge
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
North Ridge
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
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This climb is a moderate two pitch climb along the spine of the 150' tower. It is a well climbed route in the Garden and provides some of the best views of any climb in the Garden. The first pitch provides most of the good climbing to the first belay station and you can rap from there with a 60m rope. Or climb the short second pitch to the summit which has several chopped steps remaining from the early hoards of Garden climbers. Bring two ropes for the descent off the west side of the tower. Oct 26, 2001
As a correction to the above, I should have said I have been told you can rap from the first set of anchors with a 60m rope as I have never cause to test it out. If anyone knows for sure please post a response. Jan 25, 2002
It is possible to rap it with one 60m if you swing far right (as you're going down) and land on top of a boulder. If you miss, its a 15-20' drop to the ground so I wouldn't recommend it unless you have to and even then be sure to tie a big knot in the end of the rope. - Tom Feb 24, 2002
I've rapped from the 1st anchors (obvious ledge about half way up the spline of the north ridge) without any problem. As I recall, the rope reached the deck with a foot or 2 to spare. Tom - you sure you aren't talking about a rap with a 50m rope? At any rate, the point is that it CAN be done if you need to bail, but the 2 rope rap from the top is by far the best way off. Mar 6, 2002
Humorous side note on this climb (potential Urban Legend): Fergie--the Dutchess of York climbed it in 98 or 99. It was right after she lost all the weight and did her "big adventure" tour of the states...probably negotiating her deal with Weight Watchers, as well. The climb was led for her by a blind climber whose name I can't recall. --Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Mar 18, 2002
Just did this route with Barrett again last night - it appears that time and climbers are beginning to take their toll on this ol' rock (see barret's comments on the north ridge route). That said, I'd forgotten just how wild and blood-pumping the exposure on this thing is. If you only do one route in Garden of the Gods, hell, if you only do one route in the Pikes Peak region, it MUST be Montezuma's Tower. Apr 9, 2002
In response to Cooper's post, I have succeeded in rappeling down from the first anchors with a 60m rope, so it's safe. Apr 25, 2002
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
This route is easily done as 1 pitch...... May 29, 2002
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
Does anybody know anything about the TR's on the west face? Oct 2, 2002
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
You can rap off of the first anchors with a single 50m rope. You dont need a 60. To rap off the second pitch, ide recommend two ropes, 50 or 60m, doesnt matter. It might be possilbe to do it with a single 60.... using that boulder as a good stopping point like somebody said earlier, but it would be pushing it VERy thin. It's weird down at the bottom; my rope got hung up on that boulder once and i fell from about 5 ft up and it hurt. A fall from that boulder would be rather painful. So two ropes is the wisest. Oct 31, 2002
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
Yeah, so the ridge can be done as a single pitch if you use a 60m. I did it with my partner like that, and it is doable. However, the drag gets really bad as you climb the last 20' or so. So, it is probably beter to do it in 2. Also, a cam/big tricam can be placed at the last move; it is worth taking it up to the top for that extra psyche help. Finally, the boulder at the bottom is getting pretty loose. If you stand at the base of the north end looking south, down the tower, the small round one on the left is loose. The big one on the right isn't loose. However, if the one on the left happened to fall, it is a possibility it could change the state of the right one, too...-Cheers Feb 5, 2003
Charles Danforth
L'ville, CO
Charles Danforth   L'ville, CO
Regarding Joshua Lewis's comments above (Urban Legends) and such. Both are partially true! I climbed this one last weekend just ahead of a party lead by Richard Gaiman (sp?). He lead the Dutches s up the North Ridge and the blind climber (who's name I also can't remember) on a separate occasion. After cleaning the pitch, the blind climber came back and lead it providing detailed beta for his second. Amazing stuff.

North Ridge is spooky and wonderful and more exposed than anything I've ever climbed. Wow. Oct 7, 2003
Yeah, I was out there the day Fergie, Ric, and the blind guy climbed it, pretty cool stuff. We watched them from the top of Three Graces across the way for awhile. We scored some sodas off their camera crew! Oct 9, 2003
What's on top of the tower to set up the belay? Apr 27, 2004
Cement-in eyebolts. Apr 28, 2004
A few quick notes. You can safetly rap off the top of the second pitch with a 70 meter rope. A fun but somewhat loose climb can be done setting up a toprope from the top of the first pitch. Climb the west face up. I'd rate it around a 5.9 or so. Jun 1, 2004
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Just climbed the route today with a friend. A 60 meter rope works just fine to get you down from the summit in one rappel. I was only two feet off the ground when the ends pulled through after I untied them. Make sure your rope is an actual 60, though. Sometimes you end up cutting off frayed ends and forget. You can swing to the boulder if you are a little short.

Nov '07 update: Lo and behold, we did the rappel with a supposed 60m rope that was in fact a 50m! To get down I ended up making an anchor on the ledge about 20ft above the ground directly below the rap line. From there, I lowered my partner down and then draped the rope over the ledge. The saddle here provided a relatively smooth surface to do a counter weighted rappel down the groove behind the flake. My partner served as the counter weight. Oct 23, 2004
Pete Elliott
Co Spgs CO
Pete Elliott   Co Spgs CO
To the beta above... I was on Montezuma's about 2 weeks ago, and the loose boulder at the start below the first bolt shifted a couple of inches when I weighted it. Geological time is now. Maybe, start on the east face at the base of the ridge, and avoid it altogether. Jul 28, 2006
I was just at the Garden this afternoon, and we found that the loose boulder that people have often discussed here has finally fallen! (Hope nobody was on it at the time.) It must have happened fairly recently, judging from the remnants of the boulder at the base. I doubt that it will change the stability of that section of the climb too much, but it could very well change the grade. The hardest part of Montezuma's (for me, anyway) has always been those first few moves to the first pro. The whole shape/method of those moves has now changed. Curious if anyone's climbed it since the boulder fell? Oct 2, 2006
Legs Magillicutty   Durango
Climbed this again yesterday for my 3rd or 4th time. This was the first time I climbed it since the boulder fell. To me the opening moves didn't feel as difficult. It's not to terribly far to the first bolt. This is probably a silly question but is the upper section chipped or are those steps natural? They are definitely in the most ideal spots. Nov 27, 2006
Interesting. We climbed it a few weeks ago, and all three of us thought it was a touch harder now. Maybe it's because we've climbed it a number of times the "old way" and so those opening moves are hardwired in our brains. It's still definitely a 5.7 at the beginning with a lot of 5.3/5.4 in the middle.

It seems like half the holds on the Tower are cut somehow. Ah well. It's still a terrific climb. Dec 10, 2006
Pete Elliott
Co Spgs CO
Pete Elliott   Co Spgs CO
Seems fine with the boulder gone. Nice soft landing either way. A question... has anyone tried the aid route that starts at the top of the big flake on the southeast corner of Montezuma's. The pitons (manky???) start about 30 feet of the ground and there are maybe 15 that go to the top. Just curious if they are any sort of solid or no. May 15, 2007
I did that bolt ladder up the east face back in the late seventies. Those pins were pretty manky then...I hate to think of them now. Do it in 2 pitches. First pitch up to a stance below the ladder. Second pitch is clipping bolts in aiders. I remember it as kinda fun, but also scary. May 18, 2007
Danimal Jones
Colorado Springs
Danimal Jones   Colorado Springs
Just climbed the tower today. It is still a great climb. Easily raped from the top with a single 70m rope. Jun 4, 2011
Tom Ashley
Laramie, WY
Tom Ashley   Laramie, WY
Completely doable in one pitch. If you manage it well, the rope drag isn't worse than any other 40m pitch, you save a ton of time, and you don't have to risk a factor 2 getting to the first bolt on the second pitch. A 70m is easily long enough for the rap. Apr 18, 2016
Marshall King
Olney, IL
Marshall King   Olney, IL
Will a 70m rope be enough to double belay down the west side of the tower? Jun 2, 2016
To repeat others, yes, a 70 meter rope will get you down the west face.

Edit: not sure what you're referring to with "double belay down?" If you meant double or tandem rappel down, then yes, that is definitely ok. If you're planning to lower someone from the top, then I'd recommend against it. Rappel is the way to get down. Jun 3, 2016
Chattanooga, TN
rayshoots   Chattanooga, TN
Just to keep the posts relevant: I climbed this 2-17-17 with my buddy Ross. It's essentially a runout sport climb. While you can place gear after the first pitch, there are eye bolts to anchor into. It's essentially a sport climb that can be a little runout.

Only bring a 70m and rappel down. We brought a 60 and a 70, quickly realized that a 70 would have been just fine.

  • edit* - spelling
Feb 20, 2017
Nick Crews
Colorado Springs
Nick Crews   Colorado Springs
If you left your water bottle at the base today (Sun. 4/9/17), I have it. Let me know. Apr 9, 2017